Daniela Luzi Tudor struggled with alcohol and cocaine addiction for many years before seeking treatment. Then she learned for many, treatment doesn’t stick.
“I found 80 percent of people relapse and many of those end up in deaths, and I felt that was completely unacceptable,” she said.
To fight this problem, Tudor founded pala•linq, which created the Weconnect platform to help people get through drug and alcohol treatment and recovery. It addresses two of the biggest issues in recovery: lack of communication with support group and lack of communication.
Tudor’s startup won an elevator pitch competition at TechCrunch’s annual Seattle Meetup + Pitch-Off Thursday night. A raucous crowd of tech executives, startup founders and employees had to be told to quiet down numerous times during the event.
The second place finisher was Shyft, an app that lets employees post and swap shifts with coworkers. Shyft CEO Brett Patrontasch said there are more than 250 million shift workers worldwide, and each one needs to trade shifts at least a couple times a month. Shyft simplifies that process.
The winner got a table at Startup Alley at TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF event. Second place got two tickets to the event, and third place, which was chosen by the audience, got one ticket to the event.
Third place went to Industry, which helps business owners in the restaurant, bar and hospitality industries connect with qualified job applicants.
Here were the other startups involved in the pitch-off:
- Validated: App that allows shops and restaurants to help pay for customers’ parking or rideshare costs.
- Picr: Service that helps people connect with the right photographer.
- Polly.ai: Bot that does surveys through chat apps like Slack, using emojis to vote.
- Tranzip: App that allows people to post a package they want to send, and nearby drivers can pick it up and deliver it.
- Cirkled in: Tracks students’ school achievements. Described as LinkedIn for students.
- Dorrbell: An on-demand clothing delivery service that can get clothes to customers in as little as one hour.
- kru: A meeting app that lets groups of friends connect with others going out in nearby areas.